By John-Henry Westen
OTTAWA, May 15, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Priests for Life Director Fr. Frank Pavone gave a moving address at the annual Rose Dinner of the Canadian March for Life last Thursday.Â Recalling that he was with Terri Schiavo until approximately five minutes before her death, Fr. Pavone revealed details of his experiences.
The priest recalled that he had regular access to Terri in theÂhospitalÂand that she was in no way dying prior to her imposed death by starvation.Â“She was very responsive to me, she closed her eyes when I prayed with her she opened her eyes at the end of the prayer, she laughed at jokes, she returned the kisses of people who kissed her.”
Recalling Terri’s last moments Fr. Pavone said that as she lay dying, having not had even a sip of water in over two weeks, he put his hand on her forehead and when he moved his hand a little he touched a vase of flowers filled with water.Â
“Do you know that police officers were standing over that bed at every moment, every moment - armed police officers - making sure we didn’t dip our hands in that water and put it on her tongue,” he said vehemently, vividly recalling the scene. “Armed police officers enforcing the culture of death.”
The head of Priests for Life added, “I was asked what if felt like to be in that room . . .Â It was the same feeling I’ve had every time I’ve stood in front of an abortion facility.”
He said passionately, “She would not have been killed if tens of millions of unborn children had not been killed first. Protection would not have been taken away from her if it were not taken away from them first.”
And he urged pro-life activists to continue the battle for life, realizing that the victory has already been won by Christ who has conquered death.
As to Terri, he said, “I assured her of your prayers . . . You were there in that room, you could cut the air with a knife so palpable were your prayers and your concern and your thoughts and the love of the whole pro-life movement . . .Â you were there and we told Terri you were there . . .Â and we prayed and we sat in silence . . .”
Fr. Pavone ended his talk by singing the joyful Latin Easter Proclamation which he sang to Terri and which is sung in Catholic Church’s every Easter Sunday and proclaims Christ’s victory in “the awesome struggle between life and death.”Â He said that proclamation was “some of the last sounds heard by Terri this side of Heaven”. There were few dry eyes in the hall after Pavone’s haunting andÂbeautifully sung rendition of the Victime Paschale Laudes.
** LifeSiteNews.com is making available CD’s of Fr. Pavone’s talk for a minimum donation of $15.ÂThe DVD video version is also available forÂa minimum donation of $25. To obtainÂthe CD or DVDÂrequest the item in the comments section of the online donation form at: http://www.lifesite.net/contribute/Âor add a noteÂwith your mail-in donation using the mail-in form available at the same link.